End-of-expansion meandering (“Not all who meander are bored”)

(If you are looking for the post “Stop digging!”, it is not here. Due to huge fumble fingers on my part, it was a draft  erroneously published, then withdrawn within one minute. Of course, the vagaries of updating insured that it was immediately updated in the Internet referral pages, whereas sometimes it can take a half hour or more to update. But when you want it to lag, of course it will not.) 

We had some rain and gloom over the weekend, so I spent a fair amount of time logged on. More than I usually do on a weekend. And it occurred to me that yes, it is now officially the end of an expansion. I know this because I play the game very differently at the end than I do at the beginning and middle of an expansion.

I am not talking so much about actual activities — although that is definitely part of it — as I am about a whole psychological approach to the game. It’s nothing I consciously do, it is just something that happens, like a switch that gets flipped in my brain. I usually don’t know exactly when it happens, but at some point it dawns on me that it has happened. This past weekend was that point for me for WoD.

At the beginning of an expansion, I am all organized and efficient. I have spreadsheets (don’t judge), lists, stickies all over my computer, helpful web sites tabbed and ready for reference, weekly and daily goals, etc. Some of this goes away by the middle of the expansion, but I still am quite organized, I keep doing weekly goals, I have checklists, I work to maintain proficiency on my main and major alts, I make sure I am on track with any achievements I am interested in. Most of this is just second nature to me, it is what I do for almost any endeavor. (My spousal unit derives no end of amusement from it, by the way. He calls my Thanksgiving preparations “Secret Plan Overbird: The Invasion of Turkey”, and has been known to have a countdown to T-Day.)

But at the end of the expansion, all that organization goes out the window. My stickies and lists disappear, and I play very much in the moment, doing whatever strikes me as interesting or fun. Mind you, it’s not that I have completed all my expansion goals and checklists, it’s that I just don’t care, they are suddenly and completely irrelevant to me.

So over the weekend I puttered around a lot. I fished on several alts, did a bit of archaeology, ran a couple of low level dungeons on my baby tank, gathered herbs and ore while listening to music. It was relaxing and enjoyable.

I also rolled a new rogue and leveled it to 20 in an hour or so. I have rolled rogues before but never really liked them and ended up deleting them after about level 10. But this time around I am finding the class to be more engaging. So far, I am having a lot of fun with him. (He and my tank are my only male characters, I am sure there is a good post topic in there somewhere.)

As I have mentioned before, I am not really into melee as a play style, but I am thinking my rogue may be the way I get over that bias. For one thing, he is highly mobile, which is a refreshing change from my alts who are casters. (I leveled my Boomkin also this weekend, and it was painful, those long casts really try my patience.) I am a key masher, so I do better at instants, even if they are less individually powerful than the 1-3 second casted ones. I looked at the number of  tools in a rogue’s toolbox, too, and I like the wide range of utility spells they have, kind of like a melee version of a hunter. (And no, this does not mean I am changing my mind on SV hunters in Legion. At least, I don’t think so.)

The main reason I rolled a rogue, though, is for his potential in my profession consortium. (No! This is not planning! It is spontaneous! Really!) One of the very annoying and inexplicable changes Blizz made to WoD was to remove the mechanisms for opening lockboxes from engineering and blacksmithing, leaving rogues as the only way to open them. Not only did they make the alternate mechanisms unworkable for the new lockboxes, but they made them unworkable for every level of lockbox. So, if you still had some BS keys or Eng explosives hanging around from Mists and got a Mists lockbox, in WoD suddenly you had to find a rogue to open them for you.

Really, Blizz? What was the point, I would love to hear the reasoning behind that one.

I am not someone who likes depending on others. I will go to great lengths to be self-sufficient in almost everything. I hate having to ask — either in guild or trade chat — if someone can open my lockboxes. And if I hate doing it once, imagine how much I detest it when you get one of those nested boxes that force you to go back and ask for it to be opened one more time. In fact, I hate it so much that now when I get a lockbox I don’t even bother getting it opened, I just vendor it as is. Thus, clearly the only answer is to have my own rogue.

I have not selected professions for him yet, but I am starting to think he could be my Inscription backup — and eventual replacement — for my mage. I have tried now for a couple of years to learn to play a mage even semi-competently, and I just can’t seem to learn it. I don’t like the squishiness and play style, and I am very, very bad at it. (Which is interesting, because I like my lock, which is also a squishy ranged caster, and I am fairly proficient on it. Just something about mages I don’t get, I guess.) So if I can keep leveling my rogue, I may just go ahead and delete the mage. (It goes without saying that I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention this to her…..)

With any luck, this week might finally provide something substantive to write about — Q3 Earnings Report from Activision Blizzard, not to mention Blizzcon. Just have to tough it out for a few more days. Hang on, Readers, help is on the way!

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

8 Responses to End-of-expansion meandering (“Not all who meander are bored”)

  1. Bodhi Rana says:

    Rogues are tons of fun. I’m not able to main one for raiding. Melee raiding isn’t my thing. However, they’re just a blast to play. I enjoy soloing through Tanaan Jungle on mine. It’s just awesome fun, for no particular reason.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I am beginning to see that. Like you, I am about 99.99% certain that melee raiding is not my thing, but I am having a great time leveling my rogue. I can see where they would be great in Tanaan. The whole stealth–sap–zap! approach is really fun.

  2. Jaeger says:

    I definitely understand your transition from early to end of expansion. I have spreadsheets as well.

    I haven’t really played a rogue in a long time. The last time I really played a rogue was in classic and I quit the game back then and came back in Wrath, so rogues kind of have a sour taste for me. I have two around lvl 30 or so… maybe I’ll level one of them up at some point in this long road to Legion or use my boost on one of them when Legion comes out. I have 5 max level toons already though.

    As a main hunter (BM for Life!), I can’t stand either of my casters (shadow priest and mage)… Questing on them at higher levels just felt like torture. My DK can be fun and my feral druid is usually ok. I haven’t raided on an alt since Cata though and that was on the DK. Melee DPS was annoying (stop moving the boss, damnit!). If I’m going to be melee, I’d rather be a tank, but I was never into it enough to become proficient at it. So if I’m DPS, it’s hunter or nothing!

    • Fiannor says:

      I have to agree on the hunter thing — I can’t see myself with any other class as a main. (Although of course my idea of “SV for life!” didn’t work out so good …) My lock is the only caster I can stand to play, and I suspect that is because I went through such an ordeal doing the Green Fire quest on it. But I am right with you on the shadow priest (deleted mine at level 85, just couldn’t stand to play it) and the mage. Similar feelings for the Boomkin, but at least a druid has a bunch of options.

  3. Grumsta says:

    >> if you still had some BS keys or Eng explosives hanging around from Mists and got a Mists lockbox, in WoD suddenly you had to find a rogue to open them for you.<<

    My Dwarf warrior blacksmith can still open all pre-WoD lockboxes. You might want to re-check you have the correct keys, or that it's not actually a WoD lockbox you're trying to open?

    I love playing my mage. I preferred him when he was a fire mage, but I'm getting on okay with Arcane now I'm getting my head around how to manage my mana in a long fight. I never liked Frost though, just didn't like playing it. It's great that the three mage types are so different, so my suggestion would be to try another flavour before you hit that delete key.

    I think SV will get the smelly end of the stick again in Legion simply because all the designer love will go towards the Demon Hunter class. The Munter will be Dunter-lite.

    • Fiannor says:

      Hmmm, yes I will try the older lockboxes again, thanks. Possibly I was mistaking a WoD one for a Mists — if so, then the change was not quite as annoying as I thought, but I still don’t understand why Blizz did it. It’s not like opening boxes for others — tip or no tip — is the big attraction for rogues. *shrug*

      Over the years I have tried all 3 specs for my mage, and, like you, I like fire the best, never really liked frost, and currently play arcane. With fire, there is something very rewarding about getting all your interwoven casts and procs synced and rolling. Overall, I think fire mages have some of the best spell graphics in the game.

      That is a good suggestion, I may go back to fire and give her one more chance before consigning her to history. She is level 100, but I have not brought her into Tanaan yet, and I have not tried the proving grounds with her to let me get on the road to a basic ring for her. Okay, you talked me into it, one more chance. 🙂

  4. My expansion “ding” is when I think I’m geared. I know I don’t have to strive for anything and can kill almost anything. Defining what is geared is purely emotional! It is a really good feeling.
    I’d suggest a back up tailor (I have two). WoD made it pretty easy and perhaps that will continue. Making bags and making more bags has made my quality of life much better and a small stack of gold coins. I am stockpiling some for those rich alts who roll Demon Hunter next year.
    For me, when leveling a new Alt (not often but sometimes), I’ll choose a zone not completed on my Loremaster and make sure to finish a couple of those.
    Happy hunting!

    • Fiannor says:

      I have not had as much luck selling bags on my server, so actually switched professions on my second tailor. What I make the most AH money on is mats — herbs, ore, cloth and fish mainly. And my most lucrative market is legacy herbs and ore/metal. It is not the most efficient way to make gold, but I enjoy flying around gathering in Azeroth while I am kicked back listening to music and maybe enjoying an adult beverage!

      I like your idea of stockpiling for all the DH alts we will be seeing!

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